Men's Team

Guardiola and Arteta reveal mutual admiration ahead of FA Cup meeting

Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta have spoken in equally glowing terms about each other ahead of Friday night’s FA Cup fourth round match between City and Arsenal.

The pair worked together from 2016 to 2019 when Arteta was part of Guardiola’s coaching staff at City immediately after ending his playing career.

During that period, Guardiola’s first three seasons in England, they won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two Carabao Cups together.

How to follow City v Arsenal

Arteta left City in order to take up the manager’s role with Arsenal, who he played for in the final five years of his career.

Now, Arteta’s side lead the Premier League and will be looking to hold off our challenge in the second half of the season.

The sides still have to face each other twice in the league, but first they will face off in the FA Cup this week.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, Arteta set the tone with words of praise for Guardiola’s impact on his career and coaching style.

He also pointed out the mixture of emotions that comes with challenging his mentor and the man who has dominated English football since arriving in 2016.

"It's a strange feeling," said Arteta.

"I want the best for him, genuinely, and when you are challenging with someone like this, something comes in between that.

City v Arsenal | Match preview

"That's not going to change any friendship, the moments that we have, how important he is in my life, how important he is in my profession.

"We're both willing to win and defend our clubs in any way and that's always been the case since day one.

"I would prefer to do it with someone else to be fair."

Reflecting on his decision to invite Arteta to join him at City, Pep said: “I knew him a little bit but not much. We made conversations and he said ‘I would like to work together and I can help you because I know the Premier League perfectly, I know all the managers’.

“I remember that the first game we played was against Sunderland and we play against David Moyes who was there in that moment and he said ‘I know him well, I was in Everton, he do this, he do that, the strategies, the set-pieces’.

“After 15 minutes, I said ‘yeah he is the man, he is the guy, he can help me to anticipate.’

“I don’t know what my part on him was but his influence on me was great, was massive, was so important to become a better, better manager.”

Gallery | Training ahead of Gunners clash

Our boss also stated that there were no hard feelings about Arteta’s decision to swap Manchester for London in December 2019.

“I have said many times because I had many, many assistant coaches since I arrived, that I don’t want anyone who doesn’t want to be with me,” he said.

“We felt that soon one team could ask him to be a manager, he will leave. I am not a guy to say ‘no you have to stay with me’ because everyone has dreams.

“I know he went to the team he dreams of, he’s a supporter of Arsenal for the fact he played there, he was the captain there and he loves the club.”

City v Arsenal

You can follow Friday’s FA Cup match across and our official app.

Live updates will begin on our Matchday Centre at 18:00 (UK), a full two hours ahead of kick-off.

Matchday Live, our City-centric live studio show, will then begin shortly before 19:00 when we will deliver team news to you first. Michael Brown, Paul Dickov and Shaun Goater are the guests for that one. They will also be back at half-time and full-time to review the action.

Alistair Mann and Andy Morrison will talk you through the match with our live radio commentary, while minute-by-minute text updates continue on our Matchday Centre.

After the match, we will have reaction from Pep Guardiola and City players before highlights and a full-match replay, on CITY+ and Recast, are available from midday on Saturday.